fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Juliet Ellen" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2022 02:26:08 +0100
Subject: Good day my dear, happy new year 2022.
I sent this mail praying it will found you in a good condition of
health, a power of attorney was forwarded to our office this morning
by one JiÄhÃ¡o Chih-wei from Taiwan, his man claimed to be your
representative, and this power of attorney stated that you are dead,
he brought an account to replace your information in order to claim
your fund of $38.7 Million Usd which is now lying DORMANT and
Be further informed that this power of attorney also stated that you
suffered and died of throat cancer, you are therefore given 24hrs to
confirm the truth in this information, if you are still alive, You are
to contact us back immediately, because we work 24 hrs just to ensure
that we monitor all the activities going on in regards to the transfer
of beneficiaries inheritance and contract payment.
Fill The Form Below:
1. Full Names :...
2. Residential Address :...
3. Mobile Number:
4. Nationality :...
5. Country :...
6. Marital Status :...
N/B please send your full information to avoid diplomatic to deliver
to wrong person, I look forward to your urgent and positive response
You are to contact us immediately for clarifications on this matter as
we shall be available 24 hrs to speak with you and give you the
necessary guidelines on how to ensure that your funds are wired to you
Just also be informed that any further delay from your side could be
dangerous, as we would not be held responsible for wrong payment.
My regard to your family
Mrs. Juliet Ellen
Foreign Remittance Department